Now, the Secretary to the Government of India and Comptroller & Auditor General (C&AG) will also have the power to withhold or withdraw pension or even initiate recovery from the pension or gratuity of a civil servant on account of negligence in duty.

This follows amendment to the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules. New changes have come into effect from October 7. The original and amended rules are applicable to government servants (except railway, contractual servants) who joined the service on or before December 31, 2003

Earlier rules restricted the power to the President only. Now, the amended rules say power to withhold or withdraw pension will be with the “the President, in the case of a pensioner who retired from a post for which the President is the appointing authority, the Secretary of the Administrative Ministry or Department, in the case of a pensioner who retired from a post for which an authority subordinate to the President is the appointing authority; and the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India, in the case of a pensioner who retired from the Indian Audit and Accounts Department, from a post for which an authority subordinate to the President is the appointing authority.”

Further, it says, order may be issued in writing to withhold pension or gratuity or both. Pension can be withdrawn in full or in part, permanently or for a specified period. Orders can also be issued to make recovery from a pension or gratuity of the whole or part of any pecuniary loss caused to the Government. All these can be done if, in any departmental or judicial proceeding, the pensioner is found guilty of grave misconduct or negligence during the period of service, including service rendered upon re-employment after retirement.

All appointments to Central Civil Services, Group ‘A’ and Central Civil Posts, Group ‘A’, are made by the President. However, the President may delegate to any other authority, the power to make such appointments. All appointments to the Central Civil Services (other than the General Central Service) Group ‘B’, Group ‘C’ and Group ‘D’ are made by the authorities specified in this behalf. In respect of Group ‘C’ and Group ‘D’, Civilian Services, or civilian posts in the Defence Services, appointments may be made by officers empowered in this behalf by authorities. Similarly, all appointments to Central Civil Posts, Group ‘B’, Group ‘C’ and Group ‘D’, included in the General Central Service, are made by the authorities specified in that behalf by a general or special order of the President.

The amended rules provide that where a part of pension is withheld or withdrawn, the amount of such pension will not be reduced below the minimum pension. No appeal shall lie against any order made by the President. However, an appeal against an order passed by an authority other than the President, can be made to the President, who can decide in consultation with UPSC.

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